We’re constantly hearing that the buy-to-let market is in decline; it’s been reported that net investment in the industry is down approximately 80% for 2017 when compared to 2015 figures and some industry experts are predicting that the decline may continue into 2018.
In contrast, buy-to-let business levels at Brightstar are as healthy as ever. What we’re witnessing is a major change in the way landlords are thinking and transacting. Many are selling existing stock that may be highly geared or low yielding and replacing with lower geared and higher yielding properties. This shift has translated into an increase in enquiries for HMO and student let properties, multi-unit freehold blocks and leasehold blocks. These all of course offer the landlord the opportunity to increase rental yields. Whilst there is no denying that the reports and figures are correct, it should be noted that that this has become a more specialised market and this is why Brightstar haven’t suffered a downturn in enquiries and ultimately business volumes.
There are other areas where we have seen an increase in enquiries including those transferring their portfolio from personal name to a limited company, ex-pats and foreign nationals looking to purchase property in the UK and investors that are looking to purchase property which requires an element of light-refurbishment prior to letting.
There will also be an increase in the number of remortgage enquiries. In 2016 the increase on stamp duty for second properties was introduced and a surge in property purchases occurred before the increase came in to effect. Many of these purchases were completed on 2 year fixed rates which are just about to end. One key point to bear in mind when looking at these remortgage opportunities is the fact that the rental stresses have changed under PRA Regulations in 2017 and landlords are going to need the help of a buy-to-let specialist to source alternative products.
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